Medicare Physicians

News & Analysis as of

Court Dismisses Major False Claims Act Case Against Hospice Provider: Ruling Mere Difference of Medical Opinion is Insufficient...

On March 31, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in U.S. ex rel. Paradies v. AseraCare, Inc. dismissed a major False Claims Act case against a national hospice provider after ruling...more

CMS Announces Major Multi-Payer Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) Model

CMS has launched a new “Comprehensive Primary Care Plus” (CPC+) model to improve how primary care is delivered and reimbursed. According to CMS, the CPC+ initiative (which builds on the ongoing Comprehensive Primary Care...more

OIG Examines Hospice Medicare Billing for General Inpatient Care

According to a recent OIG report, hospices billed inappropriately almost one-third of Medicare general inpatient care (GIP) stays in 2012, resulting in $268 million in inappropriate Medicare payments. The GIP level of care...more

Health Care/Health Care Litigation Advisory: Update on the AseraCare False Claims Act Litigation – A Win for AseraCare and Health...

In November 2015, we published a client advisory on the closely watched AseraCare litigation and its potential impact on the falsity element under the False Claims Act (FCA). AseraCare involves allegations that a hospice...more

District Court Deals Blow to DOJ in False Claims Act Case

Last week, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama handed the Department of Justice (DOJ) a significant defeat by dismissing a False Claims Act (FCA) case against AseraCare, a national hospice...more

Judge Sides with AseraCare, Grants Summary Judgment in $200 Million FCA Case

Much like the rest of the health care world, we have been following the AseraCare case since May of last year when the Alabama federal district court granted AseraCare’s motion to bifurcate its False Claims Act (FCA) trial...more

False Claims Act Trial Sets Precedent for Future Cases

The DOJ’s theory of falsity based on clinical disagreement alone fails as a matter of law. In a closely watched False Claims Act (FCA) proceeding by the healthcare industry and FCA practitioners, the US District Court...more

CMS Moving Ahead on Medicare Physician Payment Reform; Proposed MACRA Rule at OMB

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is now reviewing a highly-anticipated Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule to implement major Medicare physician payment reform provisions...more

CMS Delays Enforcement of Medicare Part D Prescriber Enrollment Requirement Until February 1, 2017

CMS is delaying until February 1, 2017 enforcement of previously-adopted regulations that require physicians and other eligible professionals who prescribe Part D drugs to be enrolled in Medicare (or have a valid opt-out...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review

I. REGULATIONS, NOTICES, & GUIDANCE - On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued voluntary guidelines entitled, “CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United...more

The "predicate facts" rule: Providers, be vigilant!

Medicare GME payments do not compensate teaching hospitals for their actual costs of training residents in a given year. Rather, Medicare GME reimbursement is determined, in part, on the basis of historic cost data and...more

CMS, AHIP Release Multi-Payer Physician Quality Measure Sets

CMS and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) recently released seven sets of physician clinical quality measures as part of a “Core Quality Measures Collaborative” intended to align quality measures among payers and reduce...more

CMS Signals that Meaningful Use Program Will Change Significantly for Physicians

On January 11, 2016, CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program will be replaced significantly in 2017 by the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for...more

GAO Recommends Equalizing Payment for Evaluation & Management Visits

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining trends in “vertical consolidation” — hospital acquisition of physician practices or hiring of physicians as salaried employees – and the impact on...more

GAO Recommends Payment Reform in Response to Increase in Hospital/Physician Consolidation

On December 18, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report analyzing the increase in hospital/physician consolidation and a related increase in Medicare hospital outpatient spending. Finding that...more

CMS Schedules Call on MACRA Global Surgery Data Requirement (Jan. 20)

On January 20, 2016, CMS is holding a call on data collection requirements related to global surgical periods as mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Under this provision, the...more

Summary of 2016 CMS Final Rule for Advance Care Planning

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued the 2016 final Medicare payment rules for physicians, hospitals and other providers. The rules include a provision that empowers patients,...more

Health Care Group News: Bi-Partisan Budget Act Affects New Provider-Based Facilities

On October 30, 2015 Congress passed the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 (hereinafter the "Act"). Section 603 of the Act is of particular relevance to hospitals and health care providers because of its potential to chill the...more

Final Curtain Call for Tuomey: Long-Running FCA/Stark Case Settled

After 10 years of litigation, including two trials and appeals to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Tuomey Healthcare System (Tuomey) have entered into a settlement of DOJ's action...more

Limited Modifications in Final ACO Fraud and Abuse Waivers Most Notably Include Cut of Gainsharing CMP Waiver

Nearly four years after publishing their joint interim final rule with comment period, effective November 2, 2011 (IFC), the OIG and CMS (Agencies) have finalized the waivers of various fraud and abuse laws in the context of...more

CMS Finalizes Significant Changes to the Two Midnight Rule in the 2016 OPPS Final Rule

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year 2016 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule (2016 OPPS Final Rule). In the 2016 OPPS Final Rule, CMS finalizes...more

Reimbursement Change for Off-Campus Provider-Based Clinics, Physician Offices, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a two-year budget deal with a key provision affecting hospitals and other health care providers. Effective January 1, 2017, the Act decreases the...more

CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Hospital/HHA Discharge Planning Requirements

On November 3, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would modify the discharge planning conditions of participation (COPs) for hospitals, including long-term care hospitals...more

CMS/OIG Finalize Fraud Authority Waivers for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have finalized a rule designed to “remove legal and regulatory barriers that can impede care coordination in furtherance of the...more

Congress Take Step Toward Site-Neutral Medicare Payments in Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

On October 28, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that, if enacted, would, among other things, substantially alter how and how much Medicare pays for outpatient services furnished by hospitals. The...more

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